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A new article, "Mobility Hub or Hollow? Cross-border Travelling in the Mediterranean, 1995-2016" was just published in Global Networks. The paper, co-authored with Ettore Recchi (Sciences Po/EUI) and Federica Bicchi (LSE/EUI) is based on joint work in the Global Mobilities Project at the EUI's Migration Policy Centre. We show that moblity in the Mediterranean is distributed extremely unequally. Mobility is much higher and increasing more strongly along the northern than along the southern shore, thus creating a growing mobility divide (see figure on the left). South‐north and north‐south movements are even scarcer and stagnate or even decline over time. Mobility between France, Spain and Italy constitutes almost 57 percent of all mobility in the Mediterranean althouth these three countries account for little more than one percent of all country pairs in the region.
Community detection algorithms reconfirm that mobility predominantly takes place in disparate clusters around the Mediterranean, not across it. These findings imply that much like the Rio Grande in the U.S., the Mediterranean still constitutes a dividing obstacle to mobility in the 21st century. Multivariate regression models for network data suggest that geographical distance and, to a lesser extent, political visa regulations, explain the unequal mobility structure better than differences in economic well‐being.
The paper is open access and can be read in full here.
A new article, titled "Transnational Social Practices: A Quantitative Perspective", co-authored with Céline Teney, was just published in Emerging Trends in the Social and Behavioral Sciences. Transnational social practices (TSP) can be defined as sustained linkages and ongoing exchanges between individuals across national borders. Over the last decades, TSP have not only become more common, but they have also developed into an increasingly salient subject of quantitative sociological research. After highlighting seminal foundational research, we introduce a set of salient topics in this emerging strand of research, including the social stratification of TSP, the link between TSP and cosmopolitan attitudes, and the issue of classifying TSP into meaningful subdimensions. We conclude with a discussion of several avenues for future research, including the relation between TSP and the increasing societal polarization between “locals” and “globals,” the need to go beyond the field's current Eurocentrism to study TSP comparatively in all parts of the world, and the prospects of methodological and technical advances in research on TSP, including network‐analytic approaches and geo‐tagged digital‐trace data. A free pre-print version can downloaded here.
The paper "The Power of Contact: Europe as a Network of Transnational Attachment", coauthored with Jan Delhey, Monika Verbalyte, and Auke Aplowski, has just been published online first at the European Journal of Political Research. A free pre-print version is available here.
In this article, we propose transnational attachment as a novel indicator of sense of community in Europe, arguing that this hitherto neglected dimension is substantially and structurally different from alternative ones such as cross-border trust and identification. Combining Eurobarometer 73.3 data on ties between all EU-27 countries with further dyadic data, we show empirically that the European network of transnational attachment has an asymmetric core-periphery structure centered around five extremely popular countries (the UK, France, Germany, Italy, and Spain). In line with transactionalist theory, cross-border mobility and communication are strongly related to transnational attachment. Furthermore, we demonstrate that the network of transnational attachment is much denser among those with a higher than among those with a lower level of education. Our results suggest that offering European citizens incentives to travel to peripheral countries may help counterbalance the current asymmetric structure of transnational attachment, thereby increasing Europe’s social cohesion.
On Thursday, 12 October 2017, I successfully defended my PhD Thesis Mapping the Transnational World: Towards a Comparative Sociology of Regional Integration. The examination board, consisting of Prof. Dr. Jan Delhey, Prof. Dr. Steffen Mau, Prof. Dr. Jürgen Gerhards, Prof. Dr. Johannes Huinink, Dr. Franziska Deutsch, Dr. Arndt Wonka, and Ms. Nora Waitkus, unanimously decided on a "pass with distinction". I would like to thank everyone involved for their commitment.